Friday, September 9, 2011

Are Anglican Ordinations Valid?

This came up in the comments with Tess, an Anglo-Catholic with a love for the Catholic Church that I wish more Catholics shared.  She mentioned that we Catholics reject the validity of female Anglican clergy.  But the truth is: we Catholics reject the validity of all Anglican clergy.  Let me explain why.

Pope Leo XIII
Back in 1897, Pope Leo XIII put it in no uncertain terms, in Apostolicae Curae, declaring Anglican ordinations “absolutely null and utterly void.”  It's strong language, but we should be thankful for it: the Eastern Orthodox have been much less clear about how to understand Anglican ordinations, and it's to no one's advantage when the trumpet can't sound a clear call (1 Corinthians 14:8).

There are two reasons Anglican ordinations are no longer valid: the Anglican church altered (1) the form and (2) the intent of the ordination rite, rendering it invalid.

By was of history, during Edward's reign, the Protestantizing forces within the Church of England declared the Catholic ordination rite superstitious, abolished it, and replaced it with the Edwardian Ordinal. The Edwardian Ordinal was (and is) intentionally Protestant, and borne out of a thoroughly deficient understanding of the priesthood. It’s the brain-child of folks like Thomas Cranmer who desired this very rupture, and who denied Apostolic Succession.

Thomas Cranmer
Here’s what the Thirty-Nine Articles (the articles of faith for the Anglican church) say about the Mass: “Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.” Clearly, unambiguously, then, this is a denial of the sacrificial priesthood, and of basic Catholic beliefs about the priesthood and the Mass.

Since there was no intent to carry on the sacrificial priesthood, or ordain men into the same, it’s without question that the Anglican church deliberately snuffed out Apostolic Succession. As such, when Leo declared the ordinations “absolutely null and utterly void,” a great many Anglicans agreed.

This ultimately is the problem. Some Anglicans want to be Catholic, some want to be Protestant, and some want to tread an imagined via media, yet they're using the defective Protestant Ordinal. The “power cord” of Apostolic Succession has been totally severed, and the mere desire that it wasn’t so is inadequate.

That's a tough message, but I raise it for good reason.  There are many Anglo-Catholics who, like Tess, long for a sacramental Christianity, one where they're not left to be their own popes.  That's a holy and winsome desire, but one which the Anglican church cannot meet.  No priesthood means no Eucharist, no Mass, no absolution in Confession, no Anointing of the Sick, and of course, no Holy Orders.  Put more simply: Anglicanism is just another form of Protestantism.

Anglo-Catholicism hungers for authentic Catholicism, and many Anglo-Catholics are rightly growing tired of the religious methadone they've been settling for.  This desire for sacramental Christianity, and for a solid connection to the Apostolic Church, should be a motive to join the Catholic Church.  It's not always an easy step, but one which must be taken nonetheless.  Heed Our Lord’s warning in Matthew 10:34-38, and His promises in Matthew 19:29, and step forward in faith, trusting always in His Goodness.

86 comments:

  1. And before someone objects that sometimes there are validly ordained bishops present at Anglican ordinations, they should realize that Leo XIII went further than this in his argument. Although he did not use this imagery, we can picture the alterations to the ordination words and intention as being like slaughtering an animal and removing its heart. If someone later regrets that decision, and puts the heart back into the animal carcass, the animal remains dead; and there is in fact nothing natural that can be done to restore the dead animal to life. So it is with the Anglican ordination rite-- it is permanently dead and invalid, no matter what revisions are made to its text, no matter what validly ordained bishop attempts to use it. (A new, living rite would have to be given by the Pope; or he could restore the life to the current rite, if convinced that belief and intention were once again what they should be.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. We could almost wish it wasn't so, then reunion would be easier. In the very beginning, Anglicanism was a pure schism, with Henry VIII not really intending to deny dogmas. But very soon, now separated from the See of St.Peter, with errors multiplying in Europe, Cranmer introduced a fatal one into Anglican liturgical life. We mean no offense to our separated brethren in the Anglican communion, but we cannot give into mere sentimentalism and make-believe. The Eucharist is a sacramental sharing in His sacrificial death. The two are inseparable. We Catholics long for the day when Anglicans will truly be "Anglo-Catholics" once more, as many of them even now desire to be.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Every Anglican "Bishop" and "Priest" is a Lay man or lay woman and their services are purely protestant services devoid of the New Covenant Sacrifice and New Covenant Banquet.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Joe,

    I think I will always struggle to accept that Anglican sacraments are not valid, not operative. I see no way over that hurdle.

    The irony is that the Catholic insistence in the invalidity of Anglican holy orders and sacraments is the strongest factor in keeping me in that church. If we were in communion and could move freely from Anglican to RC and back without being forced to implicitly reject the sacraments being received by our brethren, I almost certainly wouldn't still be an Anglican.

    Meanwhile I am looking forward to reading the responses to this call for papers on the subject "Why I am an Anglican and believe I shall remain so."
    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/calling.all.anglicans/28549.htm

    ReplyDelete
  5. \\the Eastern Orthodox have been much less clear about how to understand Anglican ordinations,\\

    That is because Orthodoxy doesn't look at the Mystery of Ordination in isolation, but as part of the faith taken as a whole.

    Apostolic orders cannot be separated from Apostolic faith.

    That ALL former Anglican clergy have been received by Chrismation (Confirmation) or even Baptism, and later received canonical Orthodox ordination should make the Orthodox position on Anglican orders quite clear.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This whole subject (as well as many others) could be summed up in one simple sentence:

    Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

    Rome has spoken, the matter is settled.

    If there is some sort of problem or controversy within Christendom, then someone has to step forward and decide how to resolve it for everyone's sake, as well as to keep things moving along, and to prevent the Church from breaking down into chaos.

    That someone might as well be The Pope.

    No one else has anywhere near the authority, or even the historical precedence, to make those decisions.

    ReplyDelete
  7. About the Orthodox..

    When it comes to theological speculating, yes, there is some ambiguity. However, Bishop Kallistos Ware points out that in practice, converting Anglican clergy are always reordained while Roman Catholic clergy not usually.

    ReplyDelete
  8. As a former Anglican, now Roman Catholic, I can't agree with your assertion that Anglicanism is "religious methadone." The Church has always distinguished three categories of non-Roman Christian bodies: (1) the Orthodox, (2) Protestants, and (3) Anglicans. There is much good in Anglicanism, perhaps not so much in its beginnings, but a legitimate tradition and patrimony of English Christianity was partially preserved. This is why it has never been a simple matter of just sucking it up and converting.

    There's a series going over at Valle Adurni called "Il faut que la France survive" about what a shame it would be if France were to fall by the wayside. The same thing can be said for that peculiar brand of Christianity which has managed to limp forward through history via Anglicanism: the faith of Bede, Thomas Beckett, Julian of Norwich, the Stuarts, and C.S. Lewis. Obviously the Holy Father agrees, or the Apostolic Constitution which went so far as to invent a new category of ecclesial body in order to allow Anglican bodies to enter into full communion with the Holy See while preserving elements of their Anglican heritage would never have been issued.

    PopSophia

    ReplyDelete
  9. The Orthodox position is that validity of Apostolic orders cannot be separated from their Apostolic faith. In the case that a Roman Catholic or Anglican is received into Orthodoxy, their orders before would have been "graceless", done according to a formalistic ritual perhaps but devoid of any merit or grace in God's eyes; when they come into Orthodoxy God and the Church supply the grace to make them valid.

    Whether this requires re-ordination or not is a matter for dispute, an effect of the weak decentralized ecclesialogy they have followed since 1054.

    I should note that from the Roman Catholic perspective, not all Anglican orders are invalid. Many Anglicans have received ordination from renegade Orthodox and Old Catholic bishops, and are as valid as Roman Catholic orders.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I remember this question being of great importance to me when I was still a Catholic, and even some time after.

    John Jay Hughes (Roman Catholic) wrote a book called "Absolutely Null and Utterly Void", which makes the argument that the Pope's declaration is not as strong as it seems, and there is still the possibility that the Anglican orders are indeed valid. It's an interesting read, and gives a good history of the Papal document, and how it came about.

    Gregory Dix (Anglican) published an excellent defense of Anglican orders.

    There is also the argument about this from Basil Hume, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, that the letter only refers to the time it was written. Now that Anglicans are often (and in the conservative cases, always) ordained by both Anglican and Orthodox or Old Catholic Bishops, sometimes using the Roman Catholic form, at least some Anglican priests are validly ordained.

    Of course, now that I deny that there exists any objective chrism of priesthood whatsoever, arguments like this have become irrelevant.

    Nevertheless, I thought it would be of interest to you to know that there is a diversity of Catholic opinion on this topic.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The notion that the Anglican church is one homogeneous united body is a falsehood. The past 40 years or so has seen continual splits and movements. For example, who represents the "true" Anglican church -- Canterbury or GAFCON? Within the US there are clearly two distinct Anglican bodies -- which is the real church? All the real estate & property disputes between them clearly show they aren't in communion with one another.
    Also to equate the Anglican church as a sister of Orthodoxy is also an incorrect notion as well. The Western Rite Orthodox church may look somewhat like an Anglo-Catholic service they will never accept the female clergy that the modern US & UK Episcopacy embrace. (Of course not mention non-celibate homosexual clergy).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Paul: "Now that Anglicans are often (and in the conservative cases, always) ordained by both Anglican and Orthodox or Old Catholic Bishops"

    What "Anglican" Bishops are being ordained by Orthodox?
    These Orthodox must be schismatic from the rest of Orthodoxy?
    Orthodox have a very strong belief in the visible body of Christ and concrete idea of what it means to be in "communion". Further the Bishops of Orthodoxy have no power to ordain someone from another church/denomination. The power to ordain comes from with the Orthodox church body is not a charism in the same way the Catholic church may view it.
    Of course "Old Catholics" are not in communion with Rome and their liberal views would prevent them from ever being in communion with Rome, Orthodoxy, or the more conservative Anglicans.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dear Dave in Dallas,

    I am in Dallas as well, by the way. Maybe we could sit down sometime to discuss some of these things. They are still of some intellectual curiosity to me.

    You can at least write me an e-mail, if you are so inclined. saul{d0t}tentmaker[at]gmail(d0t)com

    In any case, yes, some Orthodox bishops will co-ordain Anglican men (definitely not women). I do not know much about the Orthodox Church, or how they view this.

    But the issue I wrote about is not how the Orthodox Church views Anglican ordinations. I wrote about how the Roman Catholic Church views Anglican ordinations. Since the Roman Catholic Church recognizes that the Orthodox Bishops are validly ordained, and since the Roman Catholic Church also recognizes its own form of ordination as valid, the Roman Catholic Church must, it seems, at least consider the validity (not the licitness) of some Anglican ordinations now.

    I do not know, and it does not much affect me, how Orthodox or even how Catholics or Anglicans themselves view ordination.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I do agree with you that the Anglican Church should probably be referred to as Anglican churches/organizations, because there is no real unity in either structure or purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I thought that Card. Newman settled these issues with his THE DIFFICULTIES OF ANGLICANS. He was quite clear that the C of E was a fraud, a simulacrum. Year in, year out, step by step the bureaucracy of that organization threw out the principles of a true Apostolic Church, beginning with the acceptance of the denial of the divinity of Our Lord in the Eucharist at the orders of the English Privy Council.
    Newman's great concern was that their ministers were misleading those who listened to them; that they were a danger to their eternal salvation.

    ReplyDelete
  16. \\I should note that from the Roman Catholic perspective, not all Anglican orders are invalid. Many Anglicans have received ordination from renegade Orthodox and Old Catholic bishops, and are as valid as Roman Catholic orders.\\

    Definitely not from the Orthodox viewpoint.

    Should an Orthodox clergyman fall away from Orthodoxy (as participating in a non-Orthodox ordination would indicate), he leaves his orders at the door of the Orthodox Church.

    FWIW, Orthodox bishops receive Old Catholic clergy by Chrismation and Ordination.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Tess, thanks for the heads' up about the papers -- I'll try and remember to keep an eye out for the results.

    Jack, Ryan, Dave, and Seraphim: good points on the Orthodox view of the sacraments. I do with that they were a bit clearer, as I said above.

    I do think that Paul raises a good issue: what to make of those Anglicans who claim succession through Old Catholic or Orthodox bishops? That's certainly a separate issue from what I outlined above, and I'd want to know more particulars before commenting. As Paul said the issue isn't what the Orthodox would make of an Orthodox ordination of an Anglican, but what we Catholics would make of such a thing. The whole idea of ordaining someone into a communion one isn't a part of strikes me as extremely sketchy, but I'd be interested in more information on the subject.

    Dave, good point on the in-fighting within the Anglican Communion and historically-Anglican churches and communities. I was reading a traditional Anglican blog explaining what Episcopalian ordinations since the 70s should be viewed as invalid. I'm not sure how normative that view is, but it was certainly eye-opening.

    Thomas, I completely agree with you on the beauty of Anglican patrimony, and said as much yesterday.  I think that the Anglican Use Mass is absolutely beautiful.  When I called it religious methadone, I don't mean that those distinctively English (or even distinctively Anglican) elements are inferior.  I meant that Anglo-Catholics are longing for the fullness of the sacramental life, in the fullness of the Apostolic Church, and that Anglicanism (even Anglo-Catholicism) cannot provide it. Out of curiosity, what was your motivation for converting?

    Gabriel, I haven't read The Difficulties of Anglicans. Does he actually call it a fraud and a simulacrum?

    God bless you all,

    Joe

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Joe,

    I don't really agree that anglo-catholics are 'longing for the fullness of the sacramental life' as they certainly believe they have it in those parishes where they hold sway. They clearly believe their sacraments are valid otherwise there would not be so much fuss and bother around trying to gain the oversight of 'legitimately ordained' male bishops for parishes that might soon end up under the authority of female bishops.

    I think anglo-catholics are much more interested in the unity of the church and the healing of schism (when they're not fighting for their very existence as they now are).

    I could be wrong though, I'm no expert as you know.

    T.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It should also be noted that Fr. John Jay Hughes, author of the book "Absolutely Null and Utterly Void" and formerly an Anglican priest, was conditionally ordained a priest of the Roman Catholic Church.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tom,

    Very interesting, isn't it. Conditionally ordained. Which would definitely suggest some uncertainty about how the Pope's letter should be understood.

    Of course the real arguments are in the book.

    ReplyDelete
  21. If we were in communion and could move freely from Anglican to RC and back without being forced to implicitly reject the sacraments being received by our brethren, I almost certainly wouldn't still be an Anglican.

    The sentiment is not unknown.

    "For I could wish that I myself were accursed and separated from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kin according to the flesh"

    However, we have our marching orders on the matter:

    "If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple."

    ReplyDelete
  22. "Are Anglican Ordinations Valid?"

    Of course not!

    Only Roman Catholics priests, bishops, and cardinals, and popes have the special 'blue gas' that comes from the 'right fingertips'.

    The Word of God actually having power in and of itself to accomplish what It promises?

    Nah.

    Let's rely on that this one touched that one...and that one touched this one...(ad nauseum).

    Thanks be to God that I'm free of all of that which actually limits the gospel and places everything back into the hands of sinners.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Old Adam,

    Given your snide mockery, I take it you think that you understand the Word better than the earliest students of the Apostles (who very much believed in Apostolic Succession, which you claim "actually limits the Gospel and places everything back into the hands of sinners")?

    How are you so sure of yourself on this? It won't do to simply say Luther taught it. This is a serious question, and warrants a sensible answer.

    God bless,

    Joe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the late reply. I was looking (all this time) for a Scripture verse that says that Christ can only work through certain men...no women...who have been touched by certain men, who have been touched by certain other men.

      Speaking of mockery...that just makes a mockery out of the gospel and that Christ works His will amongst sinners who hear His Word.

      Delete
  24. Mary,

    I am following Jesus' commandment regarding father, mother etc (and his commandment about giving up possessions) by entering an enclosed monastic order in a couple of days, so I don't think Jesus meant I had to hate (or reject) my Christian brethren (whether Anglican, Catholic or Reformed).

    Are you really implying that Anglicans can't follow Christ without first 'hating' their former brethren? This is something that Protestants often say to Catholics of course, as if there was no true saving faith between the time of Augustine and Luther, but only works righteousness and idolatry.

    Mark 9:38-41 gives a very different feel to the above rather uncharitable approach!

    I will work always for unity and mutual love and respect between us, because the world is wicked and I would gladly stand alongside any Christian.

    At least we don't burn or behead each other while we're squabbling online. Maybe we've come further than we think?

    with love,
    Tess.

    ReplyDelete
  25. You know I was hoping the comment feed for this post wouldn't turn into the endless argument about whether Anglican Orders are valid or not. The Holy Father has settled this question once and for all, by promulgating Anglicanorum coetibus.

    Insodoing, he has said that the only way the question could ever really be settled is on a case-by-case basis, and has refused to enter into such a project because it's just not good for anybody. Instead, he has sided with Blessed Cardinal Newman, who struggled with his own re-ordination and realized that all the Sacraments which bestow an indelible mark (and can thus only be conferred once) are by their very nature conditional. If it can only be conferred once, and it already has been, it can't be again, and it's something of an exercise in scrupulosity to worry about whether or not one should explicitly say it's being conferred conditionally.

    More than that, he has drawn a line in the sand, once and for all. The only question now is whether or not one recognizes the Lord's call through the Holy Father to be one with his Body fully.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Thomas,

    What is meant by the word 'conditional' in this context? Conditional on what?

    I confess that with the exception of your last line, I don't really follow what you're saying.

    with love,
    Tess.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Tess,

    There are those who suggest that, even if the Holy See won't officially acknowledge the validity of Anglican Orders, at the very least, they could re-ordain former Anglican priests conditionally, as a sort of nod to the possibility that they might be. That means that, when the ordination rite was being performed, the bishop would say something to the effect of "If this man is not already ordained."

    Conditional Baptisms are possible too. I considered getting conditionally re-baptized when I converted. One of the Church's few conditions for valid Baptism is that the minister performing it intend to "do what the Church does." Having been baptized a Southern Baptist, I thought I might do so just in case, seeing as they don't believe in the regenerative nature of Baptism. The Church explicitly says that such Baptisms are valid, though, so my priest said it wasn't necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  28. The comment above reminded me that while many take the view that the Catholic church doesn't recognize any sacraments from outside the church this isn't the case.
    Take for instance Baptism. Catholics accept most Trinitarian baptisms, a stance that is far more generous than most Baptist churches and some Orthodox churches (there is disagreement on this issue and not a unified voice).
    On the subject of marriage, two Protestants married before becoming Catholic would not need to get re-married. Their marriage is considered valid. Again some Orthodox would not accept that.
    While being born and raised Catholic I've had my forays into Protestantism (Methodist and Anglican)and Orthodoxy and even Eastern Catholicism. From personal experience it is very difficult to find a church home. I researched what the earliest church believed and found that the Catholic (and the Orthodox) churches were the only apostolic churches still in existence today.

    ReplyDelete
  29. @Thomas Beyer and dave in dallas:

    1) The Church does not recognize the sacrament of ordination to have taken place within Anglicanism/Episcopalianism, hence they are "invalid". Thus, all Anglican men seeking ordination to the Apostolic priesthood, are not re-ordained, but initially ordained.

    2) Marriage: I would hesitate to say that marriage between two baptized non-Catholics is valid. Reason: if a non-Catholic couple were to get a divorce and then remarry, and convert, the Church would not consider them in adulterous...they would not have to seek a declaration of nullity. However, if the couple converts, they usually get their marriage blessed or authenticated by a priest or deacon.

    Also, when the Orthodox will accept an Anglican into the Church through Chrismation, and then Ordain them, they are making a clear statement: the Anglican ordination was invalid (why else would they need to re-ordain them?).

    ReplyDelete
  30. It might also be beneficial to point out that by Leo XIII's time, all form and substance from Apostolic Succession had been lost: the form was substantively changed, and by the late 1800s, the meaning of the priesthood was all but completely gone. As a result, it was nearly impossible for a validly ordained bishop to be present at an Anglican ordination.

    The situation changed a bit afterwords, and so, with the influx of validly ordained Old Catholics, it is possible that someone, somewhere, was ordained by a true bishop...hence the "conditional ordination".

    ReplyDelete
  31. Yes, Joe.

    I do think I understand the Word better than many of the folks in the Catholic Church.

    Like Luther said, "The lowliest pig farmer armed with Scripture is mightier than the mightiest pope without it."

    But that's OK. You guys revolve everything around the Church. We will continue to revolve everything around Christ and His gospel for the figiveness of our sins.

    Off to church to recieve the real body and blood of Christ.

    Later.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Tess,

    Not all Anglican sacraments are invalid. Baptism and Marriage are not invalid. The same with confirmation.

    Holy Orders are invalid, simply because of it's deep association with the Mass, and the Eucharist.

    The Early church held that only a church with Apostolic succession could celebrate the Eucharist.

    ReplyDelete
  33. OldAdam,

    Sola Scriptura is a 16th century invention. It did not exist in the early church.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Thomas, thankyou very much for your explanation of 'conditional'. That clears things up a lot.
    T.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Old Adam,

    I didn't say "many of the folks in the Catholic Church." I said "the earliest students of the Apostles." My point is that you claim that the Word is contrary to Apostolic Succession. The earliest students of the Apostles said the exact opposite.

    In Christ,

    Joe

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Savia,

    Are you really saying that Anglican baptisms are valid, but an Anglican Eucharist celebrated by the same priest is not? What's the reasoning behind that one? How can one be valid but the other not?

    ReplyDelete
  37. tess,

    it all has to do with the minister of the sacrament

    see: Ordinary and extraordinary ministers of the sacraments
    here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacraments_of_the_Catholic_Church

    given certain circumstances anyone, even a lay person (which techinically encompasses Anglican priests are valid) because they are disposed as extraordinary (not ordinary) ministers for that sacrament.

    on the other hand, there are NO exceptions with regard to consecration of the Eucharist on who can be a minister.

    ReplyDelete
  38. old adam,

    you put a lot of stock in yourself for someone who rejects the authority of others.

    ReplyDelete
  39. This article is old news about which many disagree, even by those who have occupied Peter's chair. This article is ill-timed and possibly not even civil at this time. This article seems to have been composed in a vacuum at a time when the Holy Father along with traditional Anglicans have agreed upon a method of making specific Anglican Orders licit without "rubbing it in the face".
    The "holier than thou" slant of the article and many of its comments is beyond the ken. This article should be immediately deleted.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Aaron, you're right that the Church's last official pronouncement on the validity of Anglican orders declared them "null and void." Nevertheless, the situation is much more complicated than that. My point was, due to that complication, the Holy Father charitably side-stepped the whole issue.

    Also, it doesn't seem that you understand the historical Anglican situation very well. It was precisely in the 1800s when the Tractarians came along and fanned the fire of renewed interest in apostolic Christianity and the Sacraments.

    As for Marriage, the Church presumes the sacramental validity of a Marriage contracted by two baptized Christians outside the Church. If one or both of these parties is not baptized, it is a natural marriage, but not a sacramental one. Nevertheless, it is still binding. This is the case in which a Protestant marriage should be "blessed by the Church" subsequent to its contraction and the parties' later baptism. We must remember that the Church is not the minister of the Sacrament of Marriage; the couple is. The Church merely oversees it through her minister, usually a priest.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Like Luther said, "The lowliest pig farmer armed with Scripture is mightier than the mightiest pope without it."

    Ah. Quoting the opinion of a man who explicitly described a book of Scripture as an "epistle of straw" and who deliberately mistranslated the Bible and defended it on the grounds "Dr. Martin Luther would have it so."

    Given his own contempt for the Bible thus evinced, I would seriously doubt his ability to judge who was and who was not armed with Scripture.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Tess, scredsoxfan2 is mostly right. Baptism may be validly celebrated by anyone. Usually it is an ordained minister of the Church (bishop, priest, or deacon) but this doesn't mean it cannot be performed by a lay person, even a non-Christian. As long as clean, running water is used and it is done in the name of the Trinity, or even just the Name of Jesus, though this is not ideal, (CCC 1256).

    Stop by my blog, PopSophia.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Fr. Bauer,

    Is your problem with what I said, or how I said it?

    I meant nothing uncharitable or "holier than thou.". Tess raised her struggle, as an Anglo-Catholic, with the idea that the Catholic Church views female Anglican clerics' Orders as invalid. I thought it was important to explain that it wasn't as simple as "we accept male Anglican priests, but not female." I recognize that this wasn't pleasant news (given her existing struggle), but it seemed only honest.

    If there's a more irenic way to make that point, I'm more than willing to edit it, if you have any suggestions.

    In Christ,

    Joe

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Tess,

    This has to do with the origins of the priesthood.

    The Mass and priesthood points to HIS atoning sacrifice, if it points to something else it becomes a broken sign.

    The Mass is a gift for humanity, but it is first a gift for the Father.

    Christ offers himself in love to the Father.

    The Priest acts in the person of Christ.

    The priesthood, according to St. John Chrysostom, “is ranked among heavenly ordinances. And this is only right, for no man, no angel, no archangel, no other created power, but the Paraclete himself ordained this succession…”

    (On the Priesthood, 1977, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, p. 70).

    The Priesthood predates the Apostolic ministry.

    If I am not mistaken, Holy Orders is not a sacrament in the Anglican church?

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm asking out of pure curiosity. If Anglicans are confident beyond a shadow of doubt of the validity of their orders, why then do they have Orthodox or Old Catholic Bishops participate in their ordinations? It would seem that they are lending validity to their ordinations when they incorporate non-Anglican bishops into their ordinations. At best, it may demonstrate an insecurity as to the validity of the ordinations of their own bishops. If there are other reasons for this please let me know as the question begs the answer.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Marriage: I would hesitate to say that marriage between two baptized non-Catholics is valid. Reason: if a non-Catholic couple were to get a divorce and then remarry, and convert, the Church would not consider them in adulterous...they would not have to seek a declaration of nullity

    What gave you that notion?

    ReplyDelete
  47. To answer Jack: as far as I'm aware the Old Catholics were invited to participate in Anglican ordinations in the early 20th century as an oecumenical gesture and not to sure up Anglican orders with a sure line of succession. One Dutch bishop participating in an Anglican episcopal or priestly ordination is not going to fix Anglican orders (if you consider they need fixing).

    To answer Savia: Anglican classical theology states that there are two Gospel Sacraments, “generally necessary for salvation”, Baptism and the Holy Communion. According to this understanding the five 'commonly called sacraments' are not instituted explicitly by Christ and lack the 'divinely appointed form or matter', therefore they are called ecclesial sacraments or rites. Ordination may not be considered a Sacrament of the Gospel in classical Anglican analysis but it is certainly a sacred rite and one which imparts the spiritual authority of Christ to preach the Word and celebrate the Sacraments in the Church of God.

    I'm thankful to Fr Bauer's sage comment to this blog and am very uncomfortable with the description of the charism of ordination being referred to as a 'power tool'. OK, it seems as if Apostolicae Curae is turning into an infallible dogma and Roman Catholic teaching states that the sacraments I receive by faith in my 'ecclesial community' are invalid and void, but God is merciful and it is a tenet of the Roman Catholic faith that God will not allow one of his baptised children to be deprived of grace – if the ordinary means of receiving that grace are unavailable. The source of sanctification in the sacraments is not human but divine, hence the term holy mysteries. Humans are secondary in sacramental theology: Christ is the one who blesses, consecrates and transforms.

    History shows that the line of succession in Anglican episcopal ordinations (the series of laying on of hands) was carefully preserved (even when some of the officiants were unconvinced of its necessity!) and the Nicene rule of three bishops or more as consecrators has been strictly observed. (Please note that the Roman Catholic Church has on occasion relaxed this ancient rule). The preservation of the orders of bishop, priest and deacon was a hallmark of the Anglican reformation and has been maintained at great cost and with great care.

    Our ordination rites emphasise the pastoral role of Christian clergy in accordance with the New Testament teaching on the sacred ministry. The sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist is one of its many facets but an over-emphasis can obscure its principal function of nourishing the baptised on the risen life of Christ. If Anglican ordinations omit rites such as hand anointing and the tradition of instruments, it is because those rites were unknown before the 11th century and only the laying on of hands with prayer can be considered the essential and enduring element of the ordination liturgy.

    You will not scare Anglicans into becoming Roman Catholic by talking about 'power tools'. It is crude and unspiritual and reminds me of why our paths parted in the 16th century. The apostolic succession does not impart magical powers. The grace of ministry is a gift and a charism of the Spirit. God cannot be boxed or controlled and I believe his all-powerful grace is at work among the churches of the Anglican communion, despite all our foibles, fractures and faults.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Judicious Hooker,

    I am not sure it is anywhere authoritatively taught that "it is a tenet of the Roman Catholic faith that God will not allow one of his baptised children to be deprived of grace--if the ordinary means of receiving that grace are unavailable." Nevertheless, I tend to agree with that notion. I think God provides for his people, and I think Anglicans are his people, though not as completely as they ought to be.

    All of this is to say that while neither sanctifying grace nor salvation can occur outside the Church, the Church is bigger than we realize. Likewise, valid Holy Orders involve more than just a question of "Succession genetics." That being said, as Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, and Christ himself have said, the heart of the Church is at Rome, with Peter, and union in Charity with him has always been necessary. To be presented with this truth, to understand it, and then willingly deny it, is to deny the Church itself.

    PopSophia

    ReplyDelete
  49. Judicious,

    I'll ask you the same thing I asked Fr. Bauer: is your objection to the point that I raised, or how I raised it?

    I don't mind changing the language, if it's an unnecessary stumbling block, but I'm not capable of just jettisoning Leo XIII's assessment of Anglican orders because it happens to make things awkward for us.

    As I've said before, I wish that Anglican Orders were valid, and I hope that enough reforms have been made since Leo's pontificate that at least some Anglican Orders today are. I also think that certain Anglican leaders have been very, very good for Christianity -- folks like N.T. Wright. As for conditional ordinations, I think that they're a pastoral way of solving this problem delicately, and I support that.

    But the truth is, neither Catholics nor Orthodox believe the Anglican "Branch Theory," and we wouldn't be faithful to our own beliefs or honest with you is we pretended that we did for the sake of avoiding strife. You almost seem to be demanding that, for the sake of charity, we Catholics simply acknowledge the equal validity of Anglicanism -- the very heart of what we deny. Am I misunderstanding what you're saying in your post?

    God bless,

    Joe

    P.S. It wasn't power tools, it was about an electrical cord... and it was just an analogy. And it's pure whitewash to claim that's why Henry left the Church.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Dear Thomas and Joe

    Please don't get me wrong. Far be it from me to advocate that the Roman Catholic Church change its teaching but I am mindful (as Fr Bauer also alluded) that the theological lens which was used to analyse Anglican orders in 1896 has become somewhat clearer over the years through the study of liturgical development, Biblical scholarship and church history.

    You will no doubt be aware of the shifting sands in the argument against the validity of Anglican orders from the Roman Catholic side. Firstly it was the Nag's Head fable, then it changed to the requirement of hand anointing or tradition of instruments in the reformed ordination rite and lastly it was decided to focus on that most nebulous of concepts: the head-space of the consecrators, ie their intention.

    I just sense that behind these shifting objections over the centuries lies the understandable desire by Rome to invalidate Anglicanism at its core by denying us sacramental grace – other than baptism of course! This approach may lead to Rome-ward traffic whereas endorsement would authenticate a bunch of Caesaro-papalist schimatics!

    We all know that Rome fine-tunes and re-thinks. It did so on worship in the vernacular, the open use of the Bible among laity, holy communion under both kinds etc. I added my comment to answer some queries, stick up for my 'ecclesial community', explain its approach and add to the discussion. Reading between the lines you will sense I share much in common with you; more than with some Anglicans/Episcopalians.

    I have recently been studying the new Roman Mass texts in English and scratch my head at the current situation. As English-speaking Anglicans, the tone of our Eucharistic liturgies will end up as a reminder of the ICEL language of the Vatican II reforms, while the new Roman Mass will take on the tone of the more literal translations of the Latin, in keeping with the English-Latin Missals of pre-Vatican II days.

    Thank you for your charitable feedback. And please - no false ecumenism required when dealing with me!

    Best regards

    JH

    PS: Despite his conservative theological outlook and all round tyranny, Henry VIII provided the political space for reform ideas to grow. It was under Elizabeth I that the principles of the English reformation were established. Many a monarch had argued with the Pope in European history and the quarrel eventually settled and of course the schism with Rome was healed in England under Mary I. Had she lived longer with male issue, we may not be having this discussion. The Tudors and their inability to produce male heirs! How it changed history...

    ReplyDelete
  51. The Judicious Hooker,

    The reason why the sacrificial priesthood is central to the Eucharist, is because the Mass is the Holy Sacrifice.

    Yes, it's a mystery that transcends, but this was crucial to the early church.

    Why shouldn't it matter to us?

    If Anglicans have valid ordinations, then something like the female priesthood would never happen in the first place.

    As for communion, we receive Christ under both species, we receive ALL of him, body, blood, soul and divinity.

    So when we receive the host, we also receive the precious blood and vice versa.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I would also add that the Anglican idea of the church not being one and visible, is in fact Protestant.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Savia

    The Eucharist has many dimensions of significance. To reduce the Sacrament to one aspect (eg sacrifice) is to distort its meaning. Yes, it is a commemorative sacrifice (a sacramental re-enactment of the death and passion of the Lord) but it's also the Lord's Supper, Holy Communion, Liturgy, Great Thanksgiving and Holy Mysteries etc.

    In the 1500's the Western Mass had been turned into a spectator event where laity watched priests from a distance celebrate a mysterious rite and were likely to receive the Sacrament once a year at most. Some priests simply spent their time saying as many Masses as possible without a congregation – and at a fee – as 3 Masses were better than 1. Is this really what Jesus intended or the early church practised?

    Trent introduced reforms and Vatican II even more to restore the Mass to a truly congregational action and re-emphasised the two tables of Word and Sacrament by which the baptised are nourished.

    If you want to focus on the sacrificial aspect of the Lord's Supper – OK. But you cannot reduce the ordained ministry to officiants of one aspect of the Eucharist. This is unbalanced and denies its rich meaning and depth.

    How precisely the Eucharist is a sacrifice and how to explain that in a way that does not detract from the Christ's one perfect and sufficient offering of himself once for all on the cross is a theologically delicate task.

    My personal experience of Christ's presence in the Holy Communion according to the Anglican rite is not some mind-trip. There's a certain reverence and simplicity about the Anglican celebration which is deeply moving and unique in Christian worship. We can still receive the Sacrament kneeling at altar rails in most churches!

    At the Eucharist I experience God's peace, strength and power in such a way that defies any human explanation: it is a real encounter with the Risen Christ.

    Even if a Christian congregation lacks valid holy orders, Christ will be among them according to his promise that when two or three are gathered in his name, he will be in their midst. No Papal pronouncement can invalidate that promise of the Lord!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Savia

    Most Anglican churches ordain women as ministers of Word and Sacrament. And we do that because we believe in the liberty of the Gospel and that Jesus' actions and teaching are our primary guide.

    Four hundred years ahead of the Roman Catholic Church, Anglicans put the liturgy in the vernacular, introduced communion in both kinds, provided the Bible for laity to study and gave laity a role in church government. The ordination of women is in the same category. We can move in this direction because we have the liberty of the Gospel and are not constrained by the papal jurisdiction.

    Some of the reasons why we ordain women:

    (1)Male and female are created in God's image – both men and women can image God's love and beauty;

    (2)The Blessed Virgin Mary conceived Jesus in her womb and the sacramental mysteries are in a real sense an extension of the incarnation;

    (3)the woman who anointed Jesus' feet before burial performed a sacramental act and it was accepted by Jesus; a sign that women can serve the Body of Christ and anoint for healing and renewal;

    (4)Jesus broke with tradition and included women among his disciples and affirmed them time and again in his saving ministry – this was deeply radical;

    (5)it was women who stood at the cross of Jesus and who visited his empty tomb; if we proclaim his death and resurrection at the Eucharist, who better to preside than believing women whose sisters in the faith stood by our Lord;

    (6)St Mary Magdalene was Apostle of the resurrection and proclaimed the Good News to the cowering faithless male disciples – if the Eucharist proclaims Christ's resurrection, then women can preside at its sacramental proclamation;

    (7)women were included in the leadership of early church; Prisca worked with her husband Aquila as evangelists and many churches met at the homes of women where they acted as leaders of the faith communities; and

    (8)the orders of ministry which we now have (bishop, priest and deacon) descend from the early church which include the 12 apostles but also the 'charismatic' apostles and leaders such as Paul and Barnabas and Prisca and Aquila and nameless others, who if we take the New Testament epistles seriously would have included women.

    The ordination of women is actually a sign of true apostolicity as it carries on the ministry of the faithful women who supported Jesus in his saving work and without whom Jesus would have died alone and the message of his cross and resurrection would not have been proclaimed to the world!

    And finally, classical Anglicanism sees the church as visible (Article XIX of the XXXIX Articles) and in the Nicene Creed we profess belief "in one holy catholic and apostolic church". The church is visible and one because it is the Body of Christ, despite the fractured nature of the community of the baptised.

    I couldn't help but notice you use Protestant as a put down. It just means that we exclude the authority of the Bishop of Rome.
    It's interesting that Pope Benedict XVI has endorsed 'the Anglican patrimony' in the 'Ordinariate' as its spirituality and liturgical tradition would never have developed if Anglicans had not rejected papal authority in the 16th century! Isn't the history of the Christian family full of surprises?

    ReplyDelete
  55. Judicious Hooker,

    How do you know the Mass wasn't celebrated by the Apostles in much the same way it was in the Middle Ages?

    Of course there were corruptions, there always will be. It cannot be denied that today the abuses are a result of the pendulum swinging too far in the other direction. But these are the result of men, not the Church, and certainly not the state of the Liturgy. To say so is to utter a non sequitur.

    In a recent post over at PopSophia, I outline an argument in favor of the separation of the laity from the, as you so rightly call them, "sacred mysteries." In it I argue that the pre-Concilliar Mass was not anti-particpation, but in fact made it easier for the congregation to participate in the way laity should outwardly (and, in fact, do inwardly).

    That being said, you are absolutely right to say that the Mass cannot be boiled down to sacrifice. It is much more than that. Nevertheless, Savia is right that the centrality of this reality must not be denied. The Mass is first and foremost, the re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice on Calvary.

    P.S.: By identifying the Church's position on the validity of Anglican Orders with its positions on the use of the vernacular and Communion under both kinds in your previous post, you made the mistake of equivocating between matters of faith and matters of practice. On the other hand,the suggestion that the Church tried to keep Scripture from the laity is simply false. The Church tried to keep bad translations and dangerous ideas from the laity, something which, no doubt, got it into trouble in the end, but was a noble effort nonetheless.

    As to your personal experiences of grace via Anglican Sacraments: it is impossible to argue against someone's personal experience. I would only say that as fallen human beings, our experiences often deceive us.

    That is not to suggest, however, that yours necessarily do. As I've said, God can do whatever he wants, and grace is bigger than the Church. I cannot discount the possibility that God acts immediately to provide grace where it should not ordinarily exist, or even the Real Presence. I can say that if this does occur at an Anglican service, it is not because Anglican orders are valid and it must.

    ReplyDelete
  56. TJH,

    I appreciate you laying out the reasons in support of women's ordination so clearly.  I've responded here, and it may be helpful to segregate the question of the validity of Anglican ordinations from the question of the validity of women's ordinations.

    God bless,

    Joe

    ReplyDelete
  57. I think it hardly worthwhile to discuss the question of the ordination of women without a careful consideration of the numerous point made by Fr. Manfred Hauch, in his thick book on the subject. He discusses with a Germanic thoroughness.
    Fr. Hauch's book, which also gives a careful study of the feminism movements in the modern world, gives a basis which allows the subject to move along. Thus far one has only heard the same arguments repeated.

    ReplyDelete
  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I find it a Bit disheartening to see so much misinformation. The Vatican unquestionably acknowledges every church with valid Apostolic Succession, even those that have rejected Papal primacy. It would be impossible to do otherwise without completely discrediting the very same Apostolic Succession that gives Rome her authority. Like it or not, the church in her wisdom had seen fit to acknowledge the inherent communion that exists across vast denominational barriers. Some may need to do a bit of research to find the facts. However, I think it might be insightful to rethink why it is any Christian would consider such condemning perspectives towards any individual or group they consider to be blind. If Jesus came to open the eye of those born blind, shouldn't we as his followers at least hope to follow his example?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gregory,

      If I'm reading your comment correctly, you seem to be suggesting (a) that the Catholic Church accepts the validity of Anglican Orders, and (b) that I had suggested that the reason their orders were invalid was because of their views on the papacy. Both of these things are clearly wrong.

      Yes, the Church acknowledges as legitimate Churches the Eastern Orthodox and others who reject the papacy, and She recognizes the validity of their priests' Holy Orders. So clearly, the mere rejection of the papacy is insufficient to invalidate Holy Orders or negate Apostolic succession.

      No, the Catholic Church does not acknowledge the Anglican Communion as a Church, or as having valid orders. But the reason has nothing to do with their views on the papacy, and everything to do with their sacramental understanding, and their severing of Apostolic succession.

      All of this is laid out in no uncertain terms in Apostolicae Curae, which then-Cardinal Ratzinger described as an infallible declaration in the 1998 Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fidei. In 2000, he reaffirmed the distinction between Churches (with valid Apostolic succession) and ecclesial communities (which lack it) in paragraph 17 of Dominum Iesus.

      In response, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury lamented that the Catholic Church continued to reject the Anglican Communion's claim to be a Church: http://ecumenism.net/archive/2000/09/archbishop_of_canterburys_comments_on_dominus_iesus.htm

      So given all of this, what's the basis for your claims to the contrary?

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
  60. My question is did Roman Catholics use the same Ordinal Holy Orders for priests since the time of Jesus and St. Peter? And of course the answer is an astounding NO!!!

    The priestly orders have changed so much since the time of Christ that they would probably be unrecognizable in comparison to the rites used today. I don't think the early persecuted Christians had much time to invest on making the priestly rite as it is today.

    Alex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex,

      I don’t think anybody is claiming that the Rite is identical to how it appeared in the first century. Does that mean that anything is valid for the Ordination Rite? Any form and any intent? And if not, who determines what constitutes a valid ordination?

      Also, I think you’ll find from the writings of the Church Fathers that they cared a lot more about liturgical precision than you might think.

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
    2. Joe,

      The Church of England were Roman Catholics for hundreds of years. Do you think that the English Bishops lacked intent? If your a Bishop I would assume that you have been around enough time to not lack intent during an ordination ceremony.

      In Christ,
      Alex

      Delete
    3. Alex,

      You asked, “The Church of England were Roman Catholics for hundreds of years. Do you think that the English Bishops lacked intent?

      My answer is: “intent to do what?” Did they intend to ordain priests, as the Catholic and Orthodox Churches understand the priesthood? Initially, probably yes. Eventually, no. The Anglicans at issue could hardly have been clearer on this point. This wasn't an oversight, but a deliberate shift in doctrine. And they expressed this degraded understanding of the priesthood by altering the Ordinal to remove any reference to the sacrificial nature of the priesthood. That is, they cut out the very thing distinguishing the priesthood from pastors within Protestantism.

      The Catholic case isn’t that Anglicans intend nothing. It’s that Anglicans intend something other than the ordination of a priest, as we (or the Eastern Orthodox) understand that office. In declaring their orders valid, we’re just acknowledging this difference in intent.

      On what basis would we say, “You don’t intend to ordain priests capable of offering Sacrifice, but you’re doing so nonetheless?”

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
    4. Joe,

      I see your point. The question then is was this same intent as we know it of offering a Sacrifice used by the early Christians?

      Somehow I doubt that they were aware of this. Since most doctrinal revelation has been revealed to the Roman Catholic Church in hundreds of years.

      In Christ,
      Alex

      Delete
  61. What surprises me the most is that The Roman Catholic Church considers itself to be the one and only true church and preaches exclusivity. Yet they recognize the validity of the sacraments in some of the Eastern Orthodox Churches. So basically they are saying, you as members of the Roman Catholic Church can go receive communion in the Eastern Orthodox Churches and it is perfectly fine. Such hypocrisy knows no limits. By the way this Apostolicae Curae came out more than 300yrs after the founding of the Anglican Church of England. It took the Roman Catholic Church over 300yrs to decide their holy orders were invalid. The hypocrisy just keeps on going.

    In Christ,
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex,

      Anglican orders were initially valid. Then, they corrupted them. The Eastern Orthodox never did so, and thus, remain a part of the Church in a way that Anglicans aren’t. Why is it “hypocrisy” to acknowledge Orthodox ordinations and reject Anglican ones? You’re not even raising an argument, as far as I can tell, nor did you respond to the substance of my last comment.

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
    2. Joe,

      The Roman Catholic Church are hypocrites because they offer this Personal Ordinariate to the Anglican clergy. Who will have to be reordained according to the Roman Catholic Church but they don't allow married Anglican Priests from ever being a Bishop. Yet there first Bishop and Pope, St. Peter was married and had children.

      Now Joe how hypocritical is that. You can put all the books away and all of your Roman Catholic buddies will have to admit that this is true. That the Roman Catholic Church is filled with hypocrisy.

      In Christ,
      Alex

      Delete
    3. Alex,

      Do you know the meaning of “hypocrisy”? Even assuming that everything that you’re saying is right (that the Church used to have married bishops, and now doesn’t), how is that “hypocrisy”? I’ll avoid for now the more complex questions, like whether or not it’s actually true that Pope Peter actually was married (in a non-celibate way) with children at the time that he was an Apostle.

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
  62. Joe,

    It is hypocrisy because the Roman Catholic Church preaches that it is the only one true Church. Exclusively, yet they recognize the validity of The Eastern Orthodox Church's sacraments and essentially their existence and reality of being an alternative to Roman Catholicism. So much for the Great Schism!!!

    In Christ,
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex,

      As far as I know, we’ve always acknowledged the validity of the Sacraments of the Eastern Orthodox. Certainly, that was the common understanding of both the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) and the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). We also acknowledge their churches as churches, unlike Anglicans or other Protestants. But that’s because the core dispute between East and West isn’t sacramental.

      As for your last comment, “So much for the Great Schism,” I hope you’re right. We’ve been trying to heal this Schism for years, and it appears to be working.

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
  63. Joe,

    I am still waiting for a reply!!! You started the blog now defend it.

    In Christ,
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
  64. Joe,

    Anglican Orders are valid and in so having valid orders. They also maintain apostolic succession.

    Thanks, Joe Heschmeyer.

    In Christ,
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
  65. Joe,

    The Roman Catholic Pope only has infallibility when he speaks from the chair of St. Peter. Hence Pope Leo XIII's papal bull. Is just that papal bull.

    In Christ,
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
  66. Joe,

    Can anyone prove that the Anglican orders lacked intent? And the answer is NO!!!

    In Christ,
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex,

      First of all, take a deep breath. You’re rapid-fire posting comments that you don’t seem to be thinking through. Second, you keep saying that the Anglicans didn’t lack intent, or at least, that we can’t prove that they lacked intent. But as I said above, intent to do what? To ordain priests to offer Sacrifice? Because that’s the question on our end, and the answer is to that is clear from history. The Anglicans rejected the sacrificial priesthood, and intentionally changed the Ordinal to reflect this new understanding.

      To just claim over and over, “but you can’t prove it!” is to ignore history. If you think that the Catholic Church is wrong on this issue, show how the Anglicans did intend to preserve the sacrificial priesthood in the Edwardian Ordial. For that matter, show me how the Anglicans even had the authority to alter the ordination rite.

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
  67. Joe,

    I agree with what you stated that they did change it out of ignorance. But that doesn't make it invalid. For if it were invalid than so are the ordination rites of the early Christians.

    In Christ,
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex,

      The early Christians believed in a sacrificial priesthood. St. Paul draws a parallel between the Christian Eucharist and the pagans’ sacrifice to demons in 1 Corinthians 10. And in the Book of Hebrews, a parallel is drawn between the sacrifice of Melchezidek and the Sacrifice of Christ. This sacrificial aspect is also clear from the Patristic commentaries on this subject. For example, Clement of Alexandria, around the year 200, writes that “Melchizedek king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who gave bread and wine, [was] furnishing consecrated food for a type of the Eucharist.”

      Tertullian, writing within a few years of Clement, says (in Ch. 19 of On Prayer):
      “Similarly, too, touching the days of Stations, most think that they must not be present at the sacrificial prayers, on the ground that the Station must be dissolved by reception of the Lord's Body. Does, then, the Eucharist cancel a service devoted to God, or bind it more to God? Will not your Station be more solemn if you have withal stood at God's altar? When the Lord's Body has been received and reserved each point is secured, both the participation of the sacrifice and the discharge of duty.”

      St. Cyprian writes that:

      “Whence it appears that the blood of Christ is not offered if there be no wine in the cup, nor the Lord's sacrifice celebrated with a legitimate consecration unless our oblation and sacrifice respond to His passion. But how shall we drink the new wine of the fruit of the vine with Christ in the kingdom of His Father, if in the sacrifice of God the Father and of Christ we do not offer wine, nor mix the cup of the Lord by the Lord's own tradition?"”

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
    2. Eusebius writes, around 310 A.D.:

      “Since then according to the witness of the prophets the great and precious ransom has been found for Jews and Greeks alike, the propitiation for the whole world, the life given for the life of all men, the pure offering for every stain and sin, the Lamb of God, the holy sheep dear to God, the Lamb that was foretold, by Whose inspired and mystic teaching all we Gentiles have procured the forgiveness of our former sins, and such Jews as hope in Him are freed from the curse of Moses, daily celebrating His memorial, the remembrance of His Body and Blood, and are admitted to a greater sacrifice than that of the ancient law, we do not reckon it right to fall back upon the first beggarly elements, which are symbols and likenesses but do not contain the truth itself.”


      Optatus of Milevis writes this to the Donatists:
      “Your wicked actions with regard to the Divine Sacraments have----so it seems to me----been clearly shown up. I now have to describe things done by you, as you yourselves will not be able to deny, with cruelty and folly. For what so sacrilegious as to break, to scrape, to take away altars of God, upon which you too once offered sacrifice, upon which were laid both the prayers of the people, and the Members of Christ, where Almighty God was called upon, where the Holy Spirit descended in answer to prayer, from which many have received the pledge of everlasting salvation, and the safeguard of faith, and the hope of resurrection?”

      St. Gregory Nazianzen described the Eucharist as “the Sacrifice of Resurrection.”

      And finally, St. John Chrysostom, in his Treatise on the Priesthood, writes beautifully:

      “For when you see the Lord sacrificed, and laid upon the altar, and the priest standing and praying over the victim, and all the worshippers empurpled with that precious blood, can you then think that you are still among men, and standing upon the earth? Are you not, on the contrary, straightway translated to Heaven, and casting out every carnal thought from the soul, do you not with disembodied spirit and pure reason contemplate the things which are in Heaven? Oh! What a marvel! What love of God to man! He who sits on high with the Father is at that hour held in the hands of all, and gives Himself to those who are willing to embrace and grasp Him. And this all do through the eyes of faith! Do these things seem to you fit to be despised, or such as to make it possible for any one to be uplifted against them?”

      All of these Fathers are writing within the first few centuries of the Church. So the Fathers definitely understood the role of the priest in offering up the Sacrifice. Put another way, the Fathers believed in the same sort of priesthood that Catholics and Orthodox believe in.

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
    3. Joe,

      The question is not whether the early Church Fathers were aware of the sacrificial priesthood. Its whether it was used in the ordination of clergy since the time of Christ and the Apostles maintaining apostolic succession. And whether the Edwardian Ordinal of 1549 lacked the mentioned formation and intent. After reading the Ordinal of 1549, I don't see where in the wording and intent it lacked in describing and formulating the sacrificial priesthood.

      I invite you to read the Ordinal of 1549 by Morgan Dix as well as many of his book titles in defense of the sacrificial priesthood in the Ordinal. Also some Anglican jurisdictions have maintained the Anglo Catholic formation of the sacrificial priesthood in the Ordinal. As well as having some other more protestant leaning jurisdictions which have done away with such Catholicity.

      In Christ,
      Alex

      Delete
    4. Alex,

      Have you read the specific criticisms raised by the pope? Also, I believe that the Ordinal in question is the 1552 one, which omitted more of the sacerdotal aspects.

      “Being fully cognizant of the necessary connection between faith and worship, between ‘the law of believing and the law of praying’, under a pretext of returning to the primitive form, they corrupted the Liturgical Order in many ways to suit the errors of the reformers. For this reason, in the whole Ordinal not only is there no clear mention of the sacrifice, of consecration, of the priesthood (sacerdotium), and of the power of consecrating and offering sacrifice but, as we have just stated, every trace of these things which had been in such prayers of the Catholic rite as they had not entirely rejected, was deliberately removed and struck out.”

      If you disagree with this assessment, can you show me where it’s wrong? Saying you don’t see any evidence that these things are omitted is odd: where are they included?

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
    5. Joe,

      Have you read Saepius Officio which basically said if Anglican ordination is invalid, then Roman ordination is too. If you haven't read it copy and paste this link http://anglicanhistory.org/orders/saepius.pdf have fun.

      In Christ,
      Alex

      Delete
  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete